Tim Walsh - 1998-2008 and 2014-15 Oakworth CC First XI

It was not possible for Oaks to win the 2008 Championship at Cullingworth but there was no let up in pressure on the reigning Champions. Many eyes were on Captain-Keeper Tim Walsh who played his last match for Oakworth. He had decided to give golf more of a priority at new club St Ives so cricket will have came to an end, at least for now.

But Tim will be remembered not as a batsman, maybe not even as a keeper but as a winner. For he then had 9 medals in his trophy cabinet. There were two Championship winners medals (2001 & 2006), 5 Wynn Cup winners (2001, 2003, 2004, & 2006) and Keighley Cup gongs in 2000, 2001 & 2005. Of course Tim was a member of the Treble winning side of 2001.

He went out with a bang with three victims as his season's tally of keeping victims amounted to 29, equalling Steve Johnson's club record which had stood since 1986. His own previous best for Oakworth in 2001 was 26. Tim had succeeded Peter Gallagher as regular glove man in 1998. Tim had 297 (257 catches & 40 stumpings) victims in all matches in his 11 seasons after arriving from previous club Bradley. He was well ahead of previous record holder Gallagher (1979-1966) who tallied 266 (222 catches & 44 stumpings) in 18 seasons behind the sticks. In League matches Peter still heads Tim with 218 (183 & 35) to 203 (177 & 26)

But cricket has its own lure and with persuasive tones from buddy and golf partner Michael Scarborough Tim returned to the Oakworth fold for the 2014 season, after a six year absence.

During the 2014 and 2015 seasons Tim batted only 7 times and there was no further heroic batting performances in the league. But he really contributed one of the telling innings in the first ever Tied Wynn Cup Final at Haworth against Bingley Congs on 9th August 2015. With Oakworth on the verge of losing the Cup won in 2014, Tim joined Jack Davison as the last pairing at 112-9 still needing 45 to win. But last man Tim Walsh was vastly experienced and his fifth ball received was dispatched for 6 and 2 balls later Davison followed suit to jointly make a mess of Roberts’ hitherto neat figures with 17 off the 36th over. The crowd mood now changed and Oakworth followers began to believe the impossible. The score was 132-9 with 4 overs left. Surely Oakworth couldn’t score 25 from 24 balls with the last pair at the wicket, could they? The 37th over brought only 2 runs from Greenhalgh and the task became ever harder.  The 38th from Copping witnessed another 4 runs but featured a startling fluffed catch from Nutting but at 138-9 and still needing another 19 the Cup was slipping from Oaks grasp. Roberts then conceded 10 and suddenly the miracle was a distinct possibility if still unlikely.  Nine runs needed to win. Walsh was on 17no and Davison 29 no.  There was to be further twists of the wheel of fortune. The first ball of the last over from Neil Copping who then boasted figures of 4-27 from his previous 10 overs, was a ‘dot’ and the Congs supporters were lifted as the Oakworth crowd grimaced. The next ball sailed over the boundary for a maximum from the cool Davison and suddenly Oakworth needed just 3 to win from 4 balls!  The next ball brought no joy to Congs but a huge sigh of relief for Oakworth as 2 runs were pinched to bring the scores level. With 1 run to win and 3 balls in which to get it had Oakworth favourites to win the pulsating Final. Copping put the next on the spot and Davison was forced to block for another ‘dot’. The penultimate ball was the make-or-break moment as Davison went for the repeat six but this time the ball flew skyward and Mackenzie, who had done most to forward the batting cause for Congs, took the steepling catch and Jack Davison fell crest-fallen to his knees as the match was incredibly …. Tied.
Tim ends his career with 105 league innings picking up 1,191 runs at an average of 16.09, the 29th best average of all time. His best score is 76 in the opening fixture of 2007 against Bingley Congs. Andy Copping had him caught when perhaps a maiden century might have been on the cards.

Hi wicket-keeping record finally rests at 352 victims [47 stumped and 305 caught] in all matches for Oakworth. Phenomenal !!

He shares a century stand for the 2nd wicket with Luke Scott (v Cowling 2005), is joint holder with Mark Price of the 8th wicket partnership (90) in the Keighley Cup (2000), also the Wynn Cup 8th wicket stand of 62 with Graham Rankin in the same year and the 9th wicket Keighley Cup stand of 53 with Jason Bilbrough in 2006 v Oxenhope. The Cup Final stand with Jack  Davison is a club record of 44 for the 10th wicket.

To add to the above Tim has been around during a number of Oakworth successful Cup (Keighley & Wynn) campaigns and he took part in 62 cup-ties (8th highest) which brought him 101 victims and 566 runs at 18.23. He is one of only 15 players to have scored over 500 runs in Oakworth Cup ties.

Finally Tim's 252 appearances place him 13th on the all-time list.